Yom Kippur Comes Early for Judge Goldstone

David Horovitz, writing in The Jerusalem Post:

How dramatic the about-face. And how terrible that it was necessitated. 

How tragic, that is, that Goldstone so misplaced his moral compass in the first place as to have produced a report that has caused such irreversible damage to Israel's good name. Tragic least of all for the utterly discredited Goldstone himself, and most of all for our unfairly besmirched armed forces and the country they were putting their lives on the line to honorably defend against a ruthless, murderous, terrorist government in Gaza.

The "if I had know then what I know now" defense Goldstone invokes to try to justify his perfidy is typically flimsy, of course. 

He goes on:

Risibly, Goldstone asserts that his report's "allegations of intentionality by Israel were based on the deaths of and injuries to civilians in situations where our fact-finding mission had no evidence on which to draw any other reasonable conclusion." In truth, the only reasonable conclusion that an honest investigation could possibly have drawn -- given the evidence available, given the Hamas track record and given the IDF's moral tradition -- was that Israel had not intentionally killed Palestinian civilians. But, again, his was no honest investigation.

It is truly astonishing that a man brought up in the Jewish tradition, which considers false and hurtful words to be a form of murder, and in the Western legal tradition, which presumes innocence until proof of guilt is established, could issue a report like the report Judge Goldstone issued.

And one more point: We now have a situation in which the founder of Human Rights Watch has denounced his organization for spreading falsehoods about Israeli actions in the Gaza war, and in which the author of the United Nations report condemning Israel now condemns his own work. Who is going to go next?

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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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